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The Wolfcat Chronicles Book Nine Submitted

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Yesterday evening I completed the revision of The Woflcat Chronicles Book 9 and submitted it to my publisher.  For those of you who were beta readers for the draft of the manuscript, I changed a few things – most of them in keeping with the new ending I envision for Book 10.

I am taking a bit of a break now. I promised to read a friend’s book and review it, so for the next few days, aside from working, I’ll be plowing through a spy thriller. It’s not a genre I follow all that often but I have read a few of Tom Clancy’s books. I started reading it last night and, so far, the book is intriguing – always a good start.

For Book Ten, I expect the first half to three quarters of the story to remain pretty much to same. There are places to be and battles to fight that are necessary to the overall story arc of the series and resolution of the tenth book’s plot. The last few chapters will be extensively rewritten, though, and one of them scrapped, for the most part. This will allow the story to better align with other related stories contained in other books, publishing and unpublished, including Fried Windows. I’m excited to get started on reworking Book Ten  but I’m a little apprehensive as well. Beta readers were about 50/50 on whether they liked the original ending. Personally, I wasn’t happy with it. It accomplished some things I wanted but not all. My hope is that I will make it an ending worth reading ten books in order to reach.

One of the difficulties of writing a book with feedback from readers is that everyone finds a favorite character – even relatively minor ones – and wants something different to happen with them. Sometimes that is just not possible within the constraints of a story. Yeah, I know I’m writing a fantasy where everything is possible, at least from a  creator’s perspective, but it isn’t quite a wide open to the imagination as one might think. When a fantasy world is created, if it is to be believed on any level, there must be rules established, laws of nature, as it were, and those become restrictions. I believe I’ve been pretty agile and adept at circumventing expectations and conventions as I write The Wolfcat Chronicles. Expect the unexpected has been my motto. But, still, there are some things that must happen in order to conclude the series properly.

Someone once asked me which of the many characters introduced throughout the series is my favorite. That’s tough to answer. As I write a scene there is a star and, for the duration, he or she must be my favorite to whom I pay the most attention. Overall, of course Ela’na and Rotor are favorites. Of the supporting characters, though, I really enjoyed writing the scenes with Swip’ter and Shealu in the One Pack section of the series, especially when they first meet. In the first two books, which comprise the Spectre of Dammerwald section, I enjoyed Grem and to a lesser extent Slammer. In the concluding section, The Last Wolfcat, I enjoyed writing about Mang.

I expect to be back to working on The Wolfcat Chronicles sometime next week, probably by Wednesday. It should take most of February and perhaps longer to finish. I’m not sure at this point. It’s been a long time since I was last here in the story.

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#TheWolfcatChronicles #FriedWindows #Revising #Writing #Publishing

 

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Update on The Wolfcat Chronicles

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A dear friend of mine from the UK, Maureen Brindle, is an amazing poetess. I was chatting with her in the wee hours of the morning – for me at least – and sometime since that she composed the following poem that is inspired by the characters in my soon to be released series, The Wolfcat Chronicles. Unlike me, composing poetry is part of her nature.

Elgon William’s Wolfcat Goddess
by Maureen Brindle
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Ela’na, wolf goddess beauty born,
Amidst a universe war torn.
Consummating spirit dance,
Levitating lustful trance.

Wolfcats magically can change,
To a wolf the plains to range,
Into a fearsome Battle cat,
Or human, alluring attract.

A wolfcat is a powerful creature,
With many a magic feature,
Control of matter, time and space,
Spirit of love, warmth and grace.

Rotor, Ela’na’s lover star,
Worshipping from afar.
Banned in dogmatic disgrace,
From looking on her fair face.

The Heart of the Forest condemned,
Their love to a calamitous end.
To spend their life chained to duty,
Devoid of love, happiness and beauty.

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For other poetry by Maureen Brindle, including children’s poetry and poetry about the British Isles go to her Amazon page:

http://www.amazon.com/Maureen-Brindle/e/B00I05SJC8/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1421502845&sr=1-2-ent

For those in the UK, here’s that address:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Maureen-Brindle/e/B00I05SJC8/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1421502845&sr=1-2-ent

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The revisions for Book 8 of The Wolfcat Chronicles are progressing well despite my crazy work schedule this week. Not only was a scheduled more hours – which is a good thing as I needed the money – but also I’ve been called in to cover for people who have come down with the flu, or some other affliction. Anyway, that has also limited the time I often use to compose posts for this blog.

Currently my revision is at Chapter 22 of Book 8, which leave about 150 pages. I get off around 7:15 tonight and will get home around 8. I could be able to knock out a couple of chapters tonight and a few more tomorrow morning before heading back to work. I have a conference call tomorrow morning as well, but, still should be able to get to chapter 28 or so. That means I should be able to finish Book 8 sometime Monday, run it through spell checker one last time and submit it. Then it’s on to Book 9.

I expect the ninth book of the series to require a bit more rewriting, especially toward the end as I am making some minor changes to the plot. I have already been foreshadowing the new ending for Book 10, that concludes the series. I estimate I’ll be working on Book 10 by the end of the month. That will allow me two months, if needed, to rewrite the last half of Book 10. That should be ample time consider how quickly I compose, especially when I have already established the characters.

I have decided to begin writing a supplementary piece to the series. I’m not sure if it will be novel length, though. It may be a novella. There has been interest in the past with readers in knowing what happened with characters introduced late in Book 7 that will now, as I am rewriting it, will affect the ending of the series. So, I will begin writing the draft concurrently with writing the conclusion to the series in order that there will not be conflicts between the two stories.

Another part of the story that beta readers wanted to have told has already been written and will likely be one of the projects I pursue having published toward the releases of the last two books of The Wolfcat Chronicles. It doesn’t really belong in the storyline but, again, provided background material. Titled The Power of X, it draws together some of the plot lines of One Over X with The Wolfcat Chronicles and features Brent Woods, of Fried Windows, as a supporting character. Never fear, there are many manuscripts about Brent. I’ll eventually publish those as well.

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#TheWolfcatChronicles #FriedWindows #OneOverX #Revising #MaureenBrindle

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Next In The Queue

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Here we go again, right? It’s new Years Eve already and I thought at this time last year and the year before that I was on the threshold of having a dream year. Let’s say that previously I’ve been here and been wrong several times.

Although last year I published Fried Windows and have received a lot of positive feedback from fans and fellow authors, it hasn’t allowed me to write full time, which is my objective. Perhaps that is a longer journey than I expected. It tends to take several books before a sufficient number of readers discover a relatively obscure fantasy author like me.

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Yesterday, I submitted Book Six of The Wolfcat Chronicles. Revisions for the entire series continue to move along. I should be finished revising Book Seven in a couple of weeks. As I’ve said before the last three books of the series need the most work, though, and that will slow the pace of revision considerably – especially the rewrite envisioned for the last half of the final book. However, despite the generally painful experience of revision, I’m optimistic that I’ll complete revisions of the entire series sometime before April. I’m including interruptions in my expectations because, somewhere in the process, I will be doing substantive edits and content edits on at least the first book of the series.

Last week was fun. The day at my sister’s house in Palm Harbor was a good change of pace for me. I’m grateful for the invitation and glad I could arrange things in my schedule to take a couple of days off. While there I  met someone I didn’t know who has actually read my most recent book. If you;re not a writer you don’t understand what a big deal that really is. It’s also a little intimidating. You never know what a reader is going to say. They might tell you your baby is ugly.

All of us at the gathering were in rare form. You know how you wish you had a recording of the event just so you could capture the spontaneity and high spirits? Yeah…but somehow I think having a camera present wouldn’t have worked as well. People are naturally hams, you know? Playing to the camera would destroy the occasion, making it look too much like Reality TV.

Anyway, lots of laughs shared and good memories for all. Maybe we are supposed to recall such events without the aid of artificial recordings, just so we are kinder to all the silliness that probably – out of a family context – was not really all that funny. Such events tend to be you-had-to-be-there kinds of things, especially when you attempt explaining what was funny to others.

For some reason being around my oldest sister brings out the clown in me – not the scary kind but the playful, joking sort. It’s always been that way. Her clan is pretty much insane by any reasonable standard. So, of course, I fit right in. We each have our foibles, don’t we? It’s good to have a place you can go that you feel like you belong, even if it is just for a day.

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I like family get together because I sort of expect things – based on past experiences – but also I never truly know what will happen. This time it started with a dining room table discussion about something that happened years ago – something that was not even remotely funny at the time.

When there is a new member to the gathering a novel dynamic is introduced. More stories to be told and greater depths of experience to be fished for something worth sharing quirk the group. I think back to when I was a kid reaching point of realizing that discovering dirt on close relations is immensely interesting. That is probably the best thing about family get togethers. You discover that your personal strangeness when compared to other family members isn’t really all that bad after all.

Anyway, things progressed and evolved from the stories told at the table to other stories told, retold with embellishment, or outright fabricated. I’ve been known to do some of each but since I’m a writer the latter is where I reign supreme. For some reason memories of childhood remain vivid and clear while recalling what happened last week or even yesterday is shrouded in mystery. That’s how life works, though. And whenever you run out of true stories to tell there is always a chance stretch things a bit. Telling how things should have been is almost as good as how they actually were, right?

Yesterday, my editor informed me in an unofficial way that Book 1 of The Wolfcat Chronicles is next in the queue for substantive edits. That means nothing really except that the process is about to begin. I’ll be working on a list of terms, characters and places that have unique spellings so that a style sheet can be created for editing purposes. Otherwise how would we know that Mt. Kordha is spelled correctly each time it appears, right? I’ve decided it makes more sense to create an inclusive list for the entire series. I started working on that last night and the list is already going on four pages – and I’ve not delved into Book Two yet.

The Wolfcat Chronicles may seem to have a cast of thousands while you’re reading it but most of the names are merely mentioned as memorable faces in the crowd and are not actual participants in conversations. Still, a series with the kind of depth and scale of the wolfcat books has dozens of speaking parts. It’s a lot like going through one’s real life in a way. You meet people all the time. Some of them become friends others do not. However we all have momentary exchanges and those tend to affect us in some way.

One of the crazier aspects of writing an entire series is the total immersion required of the author. It begins with the actual creation of the first draft and continues through each successive revision. It becomes necessary to believe in the fictional world, actually entering it and living there for certain spans, just to understand the characters and their conflicts. I don’t know if it ends once everything is settled into final form and published. We’ll see.

This is one of many series I have created over the years but it stands alone as being the one most nearly complete for all its revisions over the years. It’s hard to think I’ll not continue living in the fantasy world to some extent. After all, with so many characters in the series there are other stories left to tell. I’m considering that as I go through this series of revisions. I know there is at least another book, possibly two. Such books would not be necessary to understanding and following the series but they would be interesting projects for me to flesh out more detail on minor characters. That is, after all, how one book evolves into two and three. The main characters may drive the plot but the subordinate characters that interact with the main characters propel the story into new directions. Soon, a trilogy becomes ten books.

I have confidence in The Wolfcat Chronicles because over the past dozen years numerous people have read it in draft. Each one reported loving this or that character and wishing to know more about their stories. I’ve taken a lot of that into consideration with the revisions. Also, it’s a good sign that the story works.

With recent technological developments in film production many beta readers have told me this would make a great movie – something along the lines of Avatar or Lord of The Rings. I don’t know, though. I can visualize it of course, but then I live in the fantasy world while I’m working on the books. It comes with the territory of being a writer.

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#writing #revising #editing #publishing #TheWolfcatChronicles #FriedWindows

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Realism in Character Development and Storytelling

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Way back somewhere and some-when I had a teacher named Kristin, though I didn’t call her by her first name until a few years later. We didn’t hit it off well, but after nearly four full school years of fairly close association, whether she was my English teacher or my faculty advisor for the school newspaper, we eventually reached a point of mutual respect. At some point I told her I wanted to be a writer when I grew up, not realizing that the whole point of becoming a writer is never needing to grow up. I asked for her advice and with pity in her eyes she told me if I develop characters that feel real to the reader then I might succeed.

A lot of time was spent in college pursuing secrets insights. In the process I worked on writing, attempting to find my author’s voice and toying around with methods of storytelling. You see – I figured out that it’s better to be a good storyteller than a good writer, especially if you plan to make a living as an author – not that I have arrived there quite yet. Still, all along the way I kept focusing on my characters and making them as realistic as possible. Basically, what makes them real for a reader is not the author’s narrative descriptions but how the character is portrayed through dialogue. If the spoken words sound right, more than half the battle of selling the character to the reader is won. And so, that has always been how I have approached characters. I start with a few the main characters, at least two, and have them converse. Pretty much they tell me the story while introducing me to the other characters that populate their fictional universe. They clue me in on what’s bothering them lately (the conflicts). From there the plot (the storytelling) takes care of itself.

It is not easily accomplished. Sometimes characters misbehave and their dialogue must be tweaked for it to sound real. Also driving plot through dialogue takes a good deal of practice. You also need to pay attention to real world conversations and how people talk – not stuff you hear on TV but exchanges between family members, friends and strangers. In this I benefitted from spending so many years in retail dealing with the general public and a number of fairly diverse employees. Over my nearly thirty-year career I probably have a few thousand stories to tell just from my associations.

For dialogue to be effective in helping to create a character’s realism the writer must sell it without drawing undue attention to the written words. What I mean is this: at some point within the first two exchanges of dialogue the reader must be immersed in the scene along with the characters. Suspension of disbelief takes place almost immediately if the reader fully embraces the characters as human beings (or in the case of my fantasies, just beings). The reader cannot be cognizant of the plot elements entering into the dialogue. A test to see if you’ve gone to far as a writer is to read what you have written and actually hear the voices of the characters as if they were talking. Would they say those things you wrote? There is an art to achieving this and it is why some writers succeed at capturing a reader’s imagination while others don’t. I call it being sneaky.

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One of the best examples I can think of for realism in dialogue and character development is Steph Post’s A Tree Born Crooked. Her characters feel as real as the guy sitting down at the end of the bar or your aunt that no one in the family wants to invite to social gatherings. Her novel is filled with characters you can avoid noticing even though you probably wouldn’t go out of your way to talk to them. It is dialogue driven in a way that probably should be studied in school because it is done that well.

When properly written dialogue-driven plot enhances the quality of the story as well as the experience of reading. A good deal of narrative, which is inherently more boring than dialogue to a reader, can be eliminated. The story will take on a blocked format where narrative is used to frame interactions between characters, primarily setting a scene and directing a reader’s attention to characters’ actions. The result is that the author will invite the reader into the story instead of just showing or telling what happens.

In preparing to write, the more detail an author puts into a character profile the better. Think of it as writing a short biography of someone you, as the author, know extremely well. It should include the basics like date of birth, place of birth, where the character grew up, family, friends, schools and the like, but deviate from a traditional biography in giving a complete description of the character’s height, weight, skin tone, eye color, hair color, and interesting features like a mole or a proportionately large nose. You may or may not use all the information you put into the profile but you must know those details including backstories. What crushes did he or she have growing up? What became of those people – if the character knows? Such information creates depth of the character and lends realism to the person created on paper.

Some authors pattern characters after people they know. It is best to create composites of several real world people, though. You don’t want opinions of living persons to enter into a piece of fiction. However, taking four or five people and using them as a pattern to create a character that shares their attributes and background will often make for a realistic subject in a work of fiction. For The Wolfcat Chronicles I patterned many of the characters based on profiles from a role playing game in which I was involved for a time in early 2000. The character Ela’na is based on a real person with whom I became close friends. She served as a muse throughout the creative process for composing all ten books.

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For The Attributes, a science fiction environmental piece set in a colonial world in the future, the characters are based on musicians in a rock band whose work I follow. I composed the novel over the course of a summer as sort of a birthday gift for the lead singer. Although the book has not been promoted that much I consider the story one of the best science fiction pieces I’ve done. The dialogue flows very well and it was one of the first stories that I used dialogue extensively in driving the plot.

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Occasionally the main character of a book is an alter ego of the author. In my books, for example, Brent Woods, who appears in Fried Windows, serves that role to a large extent. Although he does things I would never do and is more outgoing than I ever was he shares a good deal of my background. We attended the same schools and, of course, knew some of the same people. Since Brent has some amazing abilities and visits other worlds some people have questioned just how much he is like me. I suppose that as a writer I do visit other worlds and I have special powers while there as the creator of the alternate universe.

Part of the process of making characters feel real is believing they are real. A fellow fiction writer once told me that in order to make a contrived world believable an author becomes a part of the fictional world he or she creates. While writers tend to live in the story while we write, it may seem to others that we have lost touch with reality from time to time. We may pop our heads in and out of the real world to carry on the business of being alive like eating, sleeping, paying bills, attending mandatory family things like birthdays and such, but mainly we are immersed in our creations while we are composing them.

Editing and revising the draft becomes a painful revisiting of the overall creative experience, much like reliving the events of real life – the good along with the bad. It is a necessary evil in the writing processes but much less fun that conjuring substance from nothingness. The objective of a revision is not creating as much modifying and sometimes deleting. If a writer spends too much time immersed in a story its hair grows too long,  shaggy and unkempt. Think of a good revision as basic personal grooming for the story. Professional editing is more like seeing a barber or going to a hair solon to fix a bad hair do before being seen in public.

#Writing #Realism #CharacterDevelopment #Storytelling #Fiction #Editing #Revising #FriedWindows #TheWolfcatChronicles #StephPost #ATreeBornCrooked #TheAttributes

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Update on The Wolfcat Chronicles

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The revisions on Book Five are complete. I submitted the manuscript yesterday. I’m already into book Six. I finished adjusting the chapter sequence for story flow yesterday and made it into chapter three last night.

For the most part what I have been doing throughout the revision for the entire series is looking for redundancies and removing them. I have needed to amply some descriptions and made other minor changes to be consistent throughout the series. One can only do this while working on all the books. You see – when you write a series it is easy to forget some little details. That is why programs like Scrivener are probably an asset for writing longer works of fiction. But I composed this entire series using MS Word. Over the years I have edited it and revised it several times using either MS Word or Open Office. I could import it into Scrivener and sort of reverse engineer the story, adding in index cards for each chapter to help keep thing straight, but at this point that would take more time than necessary.

At this point I know the story very well. Since I wrote the first part of it almost thirteen and a half years ago I have read and reread it dozens of times. But what happens with revisions is that a part will be eliminated that impacts other parts of the story. One change begets a domino effect for every part that follows. Fortunately I’m not making major changes anymore. But still, I am finding small details that related to things that have been removed in prior revisions. This is a very good reason to revise and edit books while sober and undistracted. Lately I have been doing my revisions without listening to music or only playing music that I have listened to often enough hat it no longer distracts my attention – which means I’m listening to a lot of older stuff like 70’s music.

There may be a few things that will be tweaked as the books progress through substantive editing and content editing, but I’m pleased with he story flow and the story arc, the latter is difficult to do with a story that spans several books. There is a master plot for the series, of course. But I found it essential for the telling to maintain he integrity of the three main sections as originally composed. So, while there are pieces of story that help build toward the conclusion of the series, the immediate focus in to conclude the interim crises and conflicts.

The first second of the story I wrote was the middle part that now spans five books. As the entire series will be produced the lengths of the books and even the number of books may change. And so this 3500 page, ten book series may be presented as seven or eight longer books. Those are decisions that will be made in the course of substantive edits. But as the series has been adjusted and paced the first section comprises five books. Each book has an overall theme directed to the part of the story – in this case the One Pack section – as well as and individual book theme. The conflicts, climaxes and resolutions work the same way. There are major ones that span five books and also one that spans the entire series, but then there are conflicts that are resolved in a shorter span. I’m not sure this level of complexity to the plot could have been achieved had the series been composed in a more traditional way, one book at a time.

Some writers use outlines and have a great deal of structure from the initial planning of the story. Although I have composed books in that manner it is not the way I created The Wolfcat Chronicles. I developed the characters first, worked on some dialogue and then followed the characters around in their interactions. The first 413 page draft of One Pack lacked a good deal of detail and had gaping holes in the plot, however, the basic story idea was there. In revisions more things were explored, more conflicts presented and, as the story grew the complexity of the plot increased. Also the characters became more realistic with internal conflicts compelling their actions. Other, secondary characters were added in and eventually the story expanded to over 1200 pages.

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In the course of writing The Last Wolfcat, which was envisioned as a three book series from the outside, the story was composed as the main characters were followed. At some point midway through composing the second book of that section, I was involved in editing a children’s book. My publisher at the time suggested I write a children’s book based on the wolfcats. His thinking was that it might be a quick way to get a book out with the basic character ideas. He was concerned that I was engaged in a never-ending writing project – and to some extent so was I.

I writing the ‘kids story’ I decided to do a prequel to One Pack beginning with when the two wolfcats, Ela’na and Rotor, were young. Although the story quickly evolved to be anything but a children’s book, I learned things about the characters that needed to be feathered in and corrected throughout the entire series that followed. And so, midway through the second book of the Last Wolfcat, I performed a massive revision to One Pack and completed Spectre of Dammerwald (the two book prequel) before continuing to tell the concluding part of the story.

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Although I completed the tenth book I was never totally satisfied with how the book ended. I have since figured out why I had issues with it. The concluding part will be rewritten with this current revision and will tie into Fried Windows, a yet to be published book called The Power of X and an as yet untitled book that is the sequel to The Power of X. These books follow the Brent Woods character who appears in The Last Wolfcat and also give insight into Ela’na’s adventures on Earth and much more detail about th offspring of Rotor and Ela’na.

#TheWolfcatChronicles #FriedWindows #BrentWoods #Revising #Writing #Publishing

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Where and How I Write (and Where I Have Written)

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Yesterday was a pretty good day for progress with my writing. In fact this whole week has been fairly productive. I completed  revisions on book four of The Wolfcat Chronicles and sent it to my publisher. Also I began revisions on another book in the same series. Yesterday I received a better desk chair from an unlikely source, my ex-wife. And it came on her birthday! Yeah, well, it makes some sense but only in my ass-backward universe.

My ex heard about a place that was updating its office furniture so they were throwing away stuff like office chairs, The once she snagged for me has padding which makes it much better than that I was using. And it is not too worn out.

You might thing it is an odd arrangement between my ex and me, but we have always been on speaking terms, even when all we did was argue. We drifted apart over the last ten years we were married and it got to a point that we didn’t get along well enough to still be married.

Over the twenty five years we were married I became more and more engrossed in writing and she became more involved with her friends. He stayed together mostly for our three  children who were all in their teens at the time. They knew what was going on. If nothing else our kids were always smart.

Besides having issues with how much I worked outside of the house – upwards of 70 hours a week – my ex was jealous, accusing me of cheating on her, which is something I had neither the time nor the inclination to do. However, in a way I suppose I was doing just that, except I was taking what free time I had creating a universe and populating it with people I could at least marginally understand.

The main reason or our problem were financial. We had it all and lost it all. In some ways I’m glad things worked out as they did. I think the kids grew up with a much more realistic perspective and I seriously doubt I’d be published had I maintained wealth. You see, it’s easy to think of writing as a hobby and extremely easy to accept rejection and not pursue ever publishing anything. It happens all the time.

Some of my at home situation while married comes through in my writing. For example, the main character, Brent, in Fried Windows has a life that closely parallels mine, when the kids were younger, anyway. There are many differences too, but that’s what makes it fiction, right?

Over the years I have written in many different places. Usually I had a desk, but not always. In high school and college I always had a small writing desk in my room, apartment or wherever I was living. I continued to write after college and while serving in the Air Force, though I really wasn’t working on fiction at that time.

When I was preparing to exit military service I picked up on writing stories again, spending an hour or two each day after I came home from work. That grew into a routine and the hours devoted to it expanded as well. When I began writing One Over X my son was an infant and I used the kitchen table and a Brother electric typewriter. Although that is not where all of those stories began it is when I began assembling everything with some structure and started calling it From the Inside. As I have said several times before in this blog, portions of both One Over X and The Wolfcat Chronicles can be traced back to high school and college, especially my first attempted manuscript titled Tarot. But everything began coming together on Saturday afternoon in San Angelo, Texas while I was babysitting for my son and my wife was shopping at the mall that was within walking distance of where we lived.

In case it is of any interest, here is a list of the towns and cities where I’ve lived while writing (by state):

Ohio: South Charleston (home) and Springfield (apartment)

Indiana: West Lafayette (dorm, fraternity and apartment)

Texas: Mission (home), Austin (apartment), San Angelo (dorm and apartment)

California: Monterrey (dorm)

Republic of Korea (dorm, apartment)

Florida: Palm Harbor (home), Dunedin (apartment) Melbourne (home), Satellite Beach (home), Kissimmee (apartment), Orlando (room)

Connecticut: Meriden (home), Wallingford (home, apartment)

Most recently I have been renting a room. Throughout the summer I used an end table as a desk. Also, over the past three years I have used a dining table a few times and even a lapboard sitting on a stack of boxes. I’ve used laptops, desktop computers and even an iPad with a bluetooth keyboard to write, edit and revise. A time or two while traveling I editing on a plane and in an airport between connections using that configuration. The point is that I have and continue to write anywhere I may be. Having said that, I prefer writing at a desk or at least something like that environment. At the moment I have that again.

In my present arrangement I have been using a laptop with a non-functioning screen. It is connected to an external monitor. That computer has a battery that doesn’t work anymore, so pretty much it is a desktop computer as configured. It is much faster than my previous laptop, which also has a battery that no longer holds a charge. I still use that laptop to research stuff as that is about all it’s good for anymore. It is painfully slow at times for editing, so I have removed MS Word from it altogether. Both computers use Mac OS. Although I have used Windows and Linux int he past I prefer Mac OS.

As many issues as i have with MS word, especially its auto-correction, grammar and spelling checkers, I still use it for composing and editing. You need to understand the program’s purpose: business communication. It has improved greatly over the years as a word processor that can be adapted for longer projects, but it still suffers from the legacy of trying to do everything imaginable. It is mediocre for writing novels, in my estimation. It is a cumbersome process to use for revision unless you set up your book as separate chapters or even separate scenes and leave it that way until you finally assemble it into a book format. Since my writing often uses multiple storylines and follows several characters it is difficult to organize everything in any other way using MS Word. It is cumbersome and time consuming putting everything together as a book and making adjustments Fried Windows took most of a day just to turn it into a manuscript for submission

I am in the process of learning Scrivener, which is an effective writing program but it is especially well-suited for editing and revising. It imports MS Word documents (and other word processor formats) and allows them to be broken into chapters and scenes and rearranged easily before being compiled into a manuscript document or a finished product ready for eBook or print publication. And it is cheaper than MS Word!

The downside of the program is that all of its advanced features take some time to learn. Once acquired it is one of the simplest programs out there to use for editing, though. I foresee using it extensively during the publishing process for The Wolfcat Chronicles. Since my editor also uses the program we should be able to email the files directly in the program’s  format. That will same some time.

#writing #editing #revising #TheWolfcatChronicles #OneOverX #FriedWindows

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The Wolfcat Chronicles Book Five Revision Underway

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Last night I started revising Book Five of The Wolfcat Chronicles, titled A Change Of Heart. Since I rearranged the order of the first nine chapters in this and moved some material to the end of Book Four I’m mainly looking for continuity issues. Also I’m considering splitting chapter one of Book Five into two parts. It is marginally too long and, as it does have two basic scenes, I could make a case for doing it.

Mostly I don’t want to rearrange things again until I’ve read through to chapter ten or so. Then I may feather in an additional chapter somewhere early on into the flow. If that is all the adjusting I have to do I’ll be happy. I vaguely recall from the previous revision in 2012 that the last half of this book flows fairly well. I’m hoping that proves to be the case.

As far as changes to the actual text go, I’m not doing a lot of that yet. I added a few lines and delated a few – normal stuff for a revision. I will say that when this one is published readers will likely consider it the keystone to understanding the entire series. It also reveals how this series ties into everything else I have written. Perhaps it is fitting in that this book completes the first half of the series. This is where all the characters begin to interact and the conflicts come into full play.

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In large part the revelations in this book come from Terry Harper who appeared in the storyline toward the end of Book Four. Here in Book Five he explains to Ela’na how the universe is constructed and defines a lot of things about the boundaries of science and magic. This is necessary because of what happens shortly afterwards, Ela’na’s first true adventure away from Anter’x.

The Wolfcat Chronicles is going to be one of those series that is difficult to categorize as any one genre. It is a convergence of epic and urban fantasy with a good deal of science fiction seasoned in here and there, thanks to Terry Harper and Andy Hunter from One Over X. As someone who has read all of my stuff in draft has told me, one day there may need to be a genre called Elgon Fiction that encompasses pretty much everything weird that refuses to fit neatly anywhere else. I doubt that will happen but it probably would make sense to give these books a separate section.

#Elgon #ScienceFiction #EpicFantasy #UrbanFantasy #TheWolfcatChronicles Revising #Writing #Author